Sunday, May 14, 2006


I WAS born in London in 1961 and trained as a reporter and press photographer in Britain. After working as a journalist in Britain for several years, I got bitten by the travel bug and headed off to the Middle East. There, I continued my work as a photojournalist in Jerusalem and Cairo. In 1986, at the height of reports of famine in sub-Saharan Africa, I worked as a volunteer in the feeding/hygiene centre on the Wad Sharife Refugee Camp, in Sudan. Since coming to Japan in 1988, I have worked on the editorial staff of The Japan Times, The Daily Yomiuri and Asahi Evening News. I was the Travel Page Editor at the Asahi Evening News for several years. I continue to specialise as a travel writer and photographer, and I am trying to get cracking on a second book, tentatively called “Japan on Bum: Sitting to Mu,” which is about my experiences of Zen training at a temple in Japan.

ETSUKO SHIMABUKURO was born in Okinawa in 1964 and studied archaeology at university in Tokyo. Later, she won a scholarship to study computer science at university in the United States. In 1991, Etsuko returned to Japan to take up the reins of her career at European and U.S. investment banks. Currently, she is working as a senior consultant for an IT venture company in Tokyo. During the Japan on Foot project, Etsuko planned the walking route and took most of the digital photographs. She also maintained the original Japan on Foot website in both English and Japanese and, with Mary, organised charity events for HELP. In April, 2006, Etsuko Shimabukuro was one of 18 Japanese to take part in a one-week marathon through the Sahara Desert.



Anonymous said...

I was born in wad sharife I live in london now, I'd like to thank you for what you did during the famine years theres, even though I was about 6 years at the time.

Mary King/Radio Presenter & Multimedia Journalist said...

Sorry it's taken me a while to respond. Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading my blog. I hope you get to enjoy the book too. Amazing that you were on Wad Sharife and was just 6 years old when I was there, and now you live in London. Maybe our paths will cross sometime. Inshallah! All the best to you.